Friday, April 17, 2015

Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Selected for $710,000 Audience-Building Initiative Grant

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Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle and Executive Director Bennett Rink
Photo by Paul Kolnik

Grant to support Engaging Young Audiences and Building Participation for the Future awarded by The Wallace Foundation

New York – Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation has been selected for the New York-based Wallace Foundation’s Building Audiences for Sustainability effort – a new, six-year, $52-million initiative aimed at developing practical insights into how exemplary performing arts organizations can successfully expand their audiences. The $710,000 grant is earmarked for preliminary audience research and the first cycle of work will explore how to eliminate barriers of engagement for millennials and implement new strategies to involve and retain their participation for years to come.

“I applaud The Wallace Foundation for launching this visionary initiative and I’m honored that the Ailey organization is one of the select participants,” stated Ailey Executive Director Bennett Rink. “At a moment when audience participation in the arts is rapidly changing, all of us at Ailey are primed to align and coordinate efforts for what promises to be a powerful learning experience. This support will allow us to really focus on expanding our reach, particularly with the twenty-something demographic that is crucial to developing our future audiences.”

The Ailey organization was one of 26 arts organizations from around the country that were selected to be a part of the Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative and noted by the foundation for their artistic excellence. Each organization will design and implement programs to attract new audiences while retaining current ones, measuring whether and how this contributes to their overall financial sustainability. In addition to dance, the organizations represent a spectrum of artistic disciplines, from opera companies to orchestras, theaters, and multidisciplinary arts institutions. The selected partners will receive financial and technical support from the foundation to develop, implement, analyze, and learn from their audience-building work. The evidence gathered from their work will be documented and analyzed by a Wallace-commissioned independent team of researchers, providing valuable insights, ideas, and information for the entire field.

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Source: Press release

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